General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Arctic In A Changing Climate
Language English
Module lecturer dr Agata Buchwał
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position adiunkt, PhD
Faculty Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences
Semester 2024/2025 (winter)
Duration 30


Module aim (aims)

The aim of the lecture is to give students the knowledge about the Arctic region, both its biotic and abiotic components, under a changing climate. During the lecture the student will get familiar with the following issues: Climate change and its impact in the Arctic; Arctic amplification; Changing Sea Ice Extent and its global feedbacks; Terrestrial observations in Arctic change; Tundra biome; Geopolitical conflicts in the Arctic; Geohazards and threatens for indigenous communities

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

This subject is offered to students from any discipline at both, Bachelor and Master level.


1. The Arctic and Climate Change - where?  when? why?


2. Impact of permafrost thawing for nature and human activity in the Arctic.


3.Carbon cycle in the Arctic.


4.Boreal forest and tundra wildfires: causes and consequences.


5.The effects of diminishing sea ice on climatic change in the Arctic region and beyond.


6.Ecological changes in the Arctic (flora or fauna).


7.How native Arctic communities face climate change.


8.Microplastic in the Arctic.


9.Geopolitical ascpects of the Arctic.

Reading list

Chapin, F.S., Sturm, M., Serreze, M.C., McFadden, J.P., Key, J.R., Lloyd, A.H., McGuire, A.D., Rupp, T.S., Lynch, A.H., Schimel, J.P., Beringer, J., Chapman, W.L., Epstein, H.E., Euskirchen, E.S., Hinzman, L.D., Jia, G., Ping, C.-L., Tape, K.D., Thompson, C.D.C., Walker, D.A., Welker, J.M., 2005. Role of Land-Surface Changes in Arctic Summer Warming. Science 310, 657–660.

Hauser, D.D.W., Whiting, A.V., Mahoney, A.R., Goodwin, J., Harris, C., Schaeffer, R.J., Schaeffer, R., Laxague, N.J.M., Subramaniam, A., Witte, C.R., Betcher, S., Lindsay, J.M., Zappa, C.J., 2021. Co-production of knowledge reveals loss of Indigenous hunting opportunities in the face of accelerating Arctic climate change. Environ. Res. Lett. 16, 095003.

Huntington, H.P., Carey, M., Apok, C., Forbes, B.C., Fox, S., Holm, L.K., Ivanova, A., Jaypoody, J., Noongwook, G., Stammler, F., 2019. Climate change in context: putting people first in the Arctic. Reg. Environ. Change 19, 1217–1223.

Lusher, A.L., Tirelli, V., O’Connor, I., Officer, R., 2015. Microplastics in Arctic polar waters: the first reported values of particles in surface and sub-surface samples. Sci. Rep. 5, 14947.

Macias-Fauria, M., Post, E., 2018. Effects of sea ice on Arctic biota. Biol. Lett. 14, 20180265.

Mack, M.C., Bret-Harte, M.S., Hollingsworth, T.N., Jandt, R.R., Schuur, E.A.G., Shaver, G.R., Verbyla, D.L., 2011. Carbon loss from an unprecedented Arctic tundra wildfire. Nature 475, 489–492.

McGuire, A.D., Anderson, L.G., Christensen, T.R., Dallimore, S., Guo, L., Hayes, D.J., Heimann, M., Lorenson, T.D., Macdonald, R.W., Roulet, N., 2009. Sensitivity of the carbon cycle in the Arctic to climate change. Ecol. Monogr. 79, 523–555.

Meredith, M., Sommerkorn, M., Cassota, S., Derksen, C., Ekaykin, A., Hollowed, A., Kofinas, G., Mackintosh, A., Melbourne-Thomas, J., Muelbert, M.M.C., Ottersen, G., Pritchard, H., Schuur, E. a. G., Boyd, P., Hobbs, W., Hodgson-Johnston, I., 2019. Polar Regions.

Post, E., Alley, R.B., Christensen, T.R., Macias-Fauria, M., Forbes, B.C., Gooseff, M.N., Iler, A., Kerby, J.T., Laidre, K.L., Mann, M.E., Olofsson, J., Stroeve, J.C., Ulmer, F., Virginia, R.A., Wang, M., n.d. The polar regions in a 2°C warmer world. Sci. Adv. 5, eaaw9883.

Thomas, David N., 2021. Arctic Ecology | Wiley [WWW Document]. URL (accessed 2.10.22).

Walker, X.J., Baltzer, J.L., Cumming, S.G., Day, N.J., Ebert, C., Goetz, S., Johnstone, J.F., Potter, S., Rogers, B.M., Schuur, E.A.G., Turetsky, M.R., Mack, M.C., 2019. Increasing wildfires threaten historic carbon sink of boreal forest soils. Nature 572, 520–523.